Members of UVA's student welfare and engagement team.
UVA engagement team members Cynthia Jackson, Deborah Facey, and Debra Haynes at open house.

Did you know that September is Attendance Awareness Month? Attendance is a critical component at University View Academy, so we are pleased to participate in raising awareness.

As a virtual school, UVA’s attendance policy was designed to offer families more flexibility with their schedules. Attendance at UVA is defined as the weekly completion of assigned coursework, but regular attendance is still a crucial part of academic achievement.

UVA’s engagement team seeks to start the habit of good attendance as early as possible, citing that academic discipline leads to discipline in the workforce. “If the expectation of good attendance isn’t established early, then the student doesn’t have a ‘why’ to succeed,” said Beth Williams, a UVA engagement specialist. “They don’t make the connection between their education and their career.”

Creating good attendance habits early is crucial to developing the habit successfully. “Research has shown that if a student is not reading fluently by third grade, it’s very hard to catch up,” said engagement counselor Debra Haynes. “If attendance is poor in kindergarten, you’re already behind.”

UVA’s engagement team is aware of the obstacles that stand in the way of attendance. The team offers several resources to support families, such as academic tutoring and anxiety counseling. “Social anxiety is a barrier,” said engagement counselor Cynthia Jackson. “That’s why we offer social/emotional counseling and refer to community assistance.”

The engagement team is approaching the month with enthusiasm. “UVA’s mission is understanding, engaging, and empowering each unique student for college and beyond,” said Haynes. “That includes good attendance to prepare for your career. This month, we want everyone to know that attendance matters. It’s not just a school policy.”

“We don’t want to be punitive,” Williams added. “Doing your work is for your benefit. There are services to help.”

So how can everyone take part in Attendance Awareness Month? According to Deborah Facey, UVA’s student engagement coordinator, the key is simply staying informed.

“Learning coaches are encouraged to be consistently aware of where their child stands with attendance and grades,” Facey said. “They should stay actively engaged with supporting their child’s attendance even if they’re a senior in high school.”

UVA’s engagement team offers this checklist to help cultivate the habit of good attendance:

  • Do you have a daily schedule? Setting aside a specific amount of time daily for schoolwork can make assignment completion quicker and easier.
  • Do you have a good workstation? Simply having an organized, designated desk or place to complete schoolwork can help lessen distractions and make submitting assignments easier.
  • Did you complete UVA’s onboarding course? The onboarding course is important for both new and returning families. It clearly defines attendance expectations and the resources available to help.

You can read more about the 2023 Attendance Awareness Month campaign by visiting

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